Thursday, January 24, 2008


Despite the title, this isn't a post of rhetorical questions.

At the moment, my writing plate is full. Angel in the Woods is in revision before I contact agents. Worlds Unseen is still selling, which means that its sequel, Burning Light, needs my attention soon! And events have kicked into gear which mean I'll be publishing Tales of the Heartily Homeschooled, a collection of humourous big family/homeschooling essays, this year.

I'm busy with many other things as well, so sometimes I have to wonder: Why do I do this?

Certainly not for the money. Yes, I'd love it if my writing (specifically my novels) could support me. I'm working toward that end. But as my financial review of the past few days has showed, self-publishing is unlikely to get me there--and traditional publishing may take a while :).

The acceptable Christian answer is something like "I'm doing it to change lives" or "I'm doing it to spread the gospel." Those sound good, and of course I'm thrilled if either of those results flow from my writing. But if those were really my sole reasons, I probably wouldn't write fiction. I'd stick to devotional writing--or at least I'd make my fiction more blatantly evangelistic.

Which brings me back to the original question: Why?

Well, why do birds sing?

Song helps them communicate, yes; it aids them in mating, yes; it serves various functions in their lives--but ultimately, why do they sing? Because it's in them to do it. Because God Himself put it there.

Ultimately, why do I write? Because it's in me to write. Because writing--writing anything--is for me an act of praise.

Will my fiction change lives? Will it spread the gospel? I hope so. I hope my writing will bring a breath of heaven into the very worldly world of publishing. But I can't really control the effect my writing has on others. All I can do is write, in praise of the God who made me.

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Blogger Keenan said...

I've been thinking about the same thing for some time now. Why write? It takes up so much time and there's probably something else more pertinent that I could be done. But I think what it comes down to is this quote from Chariots of Fire:

"I believe God made me for a purpose, but he also made me fast. And when I run I feel His pleasure."

It's what God calls you to do. He placed the desire there in you, because He has a purpose for you. I suppose now we just need to wait to see what He's up to.

So Exciting! I think I'll go write so more.

7:33 p.m.  
Blogger Brittany Simmons said...

Starr, that was beautiful and eloquent and hit home like a bullseye on a target.

I hope it's alright for me to copy that post and save it somewhere. Maybe I'll print it out, too. No, I'm not asking, I'm just hoping that it's alright, because I'm going to do it.

1:12 p.m.  
Blogger Keenan said...

I was reading some poems of George Herbert and came across "The Quiddity" and it made me think of this post.

For the word "verse" in the first line, substitute one of your talents, be it art, music, novel writing, journaling, scrap booking.

The Quiddity

My God, a verse is not a crown,
No point of honour, or gay suit,
No hawk, or banquet, or renown,
Nor a good sword, nor yet a lute:

It cannot vault, or dance, or play;
It never was in France or Spain;
Nor can it entertain the day
With my great stable or demain:

It is no office, art, or news,
Nor the Exchange, or busie Hall;
But it is that which while I use
I am with thee, and most take all.

8:04 p.m.  
Blogger Rachel Starr Thomson said...

I love it, Keenan :). Thanks!
("It never was in France or Spain"... grin. I love the glimpses at old European culture.)

3:08 p.m.  

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